03 May 2015
A most enjoyably pleasant Sunday night to you all! Azzy here, recovered from both No Brand Con and the subsequent (and brutal) 6-days-in-a-row stretch of work and bringing forth another edition of GR2 Weekly! No Brand Con definitely got fairly interesting at times, but I’ll mention more about that next Sunday, when I’ll post the NBC 2015 Recap in lieu of GR2 Weekly. I’m thinking of trying a different format for the recap, perhaps a “Best and Worst”- style recap ala Brandon Stroud (and if you’re a wrestling fan, I highly suggest you check his Best and Worst reports out). We’ll see what happens on that front. But elsewhere in the Geek World, science has enabled 3d Printing of implants to save the lives of some babies, someone takes a page from Hitchhikers’ Guide To The Galaxy and made an epic Rap out of it, the Dragonball franchise is getting a new anime this summer, Banjo Guy Ollie puts his musical talents on display once more and Hasbro just recently announced an all-new and all-female Transformers team. But in the Dark Side of the Geek World, one douchebag “executed” his computer using a 9mm Handgun, one of ESPN’s biggest douchebags (Colin Cowherd) flipped his s**t over the network’s coverage of a Heroes of the Storm competition (though Colin himself has covered Madden video game competitions), a photo of what many fear to be Will Smith’s costume for Deadpool in the Suicide Squad movie has the world losing its collective cool, some scientific studies are proving how much more harmful Bullying is to mental health compared to child abuse and a whole roomful of douchebags in Washington D.C. thinks that Science is full of it when it comes to Climate Change. To find out who Won and Lost at life this week, do kindly read on. :3
Geek Rave of the Week
This week, I felt like giving you most excellent readers a Double Dose of Rave-y goodness. Partially to make up for no GR2 Weekly last week, partially because this week’s Rant subject is a real doozy (thus necessitating the Two Raves to offset things). The first of our Raves features a guy whose levels of dedication can be only described as:
A man who went simply by the name of “LAN Fiesta” was in the midsts of a 2-day quest to accrue enough Strange Coins in the video game Destiny to buy an exotic weapon from Xur known as “The Last Word”. Lan Fiesta 16 Strange Coins when he began his adventure, 7 shy of the 23 needed to buy the weapon. The thing with Xur is that he only stays in The Tower for 2 days a week, so your window of opportunity is very small if you need to get his wares. LAN Fiesta managed to grind his character to the point where he was able to get 6 of the 7 coins needed, when the worst possible thing happened: the power at his house went out.
Not one to be dismayed, the diedcated gamer did the only thing he could do in a situation such as this: grabbed his gaming rig and bolted for the nearest McDonalds. He was able to jump on the wi-fi, but alas the McDonalds closed before he could finish. He then proceeded to a nearby Taco Bueno where the employees allowed him to stay and finish, even well after the restaurant closed at 1am (with the employees watching on). Upon succeeding in his quest and a quick thenks to the employees of the Taco Bueno, they simply responded with “It’s Destiny. We Understand”.
The second bit of great gaming news comes courtesy of Kotaku sub-blog Pocket Monster. MVG Sandstorm, host to one of the biggest Super Smash Bros. Melee tournaments out there, saw quite the unexpected development. Jeffery “Axe” Williamson (Arizona) managed to get as far as the Finals before losing to a Swedish player known only as Armada. But it wasn’t so far the fact he got to the finals that was amazing, it was who he fought as to get there:
While most top-level players tend to gravitate towards characters like Fox or Falco (I flip between Ganondorf, Toon Link and Little Mac myself in the current game), Axe bucked tradition and went with Pikachu. And he had to run through quite the gauntlet, most notably taking out Leffen Mango before losing to Armada and ultimately settling for 3rd place after a subsequent defeat in the Loser’s Semi’s. I couldn’t even get past a 10-year old in the 3DS Smash Bros. at Kitsune Kon. But for Axe to take out some of the top-ranked Smash Bros. players and with one of the more unlikely characters to use in a tournament, my hat goes off to them. Brace yourself now, because it’s about to get a little sucky.
Geek Rant of the Week
As some of you may know, I am a ginormous fan of a Portland, Oregon-based musical act known simply as The Slants. The group, who describes their music as “Chinatown Dance Rock”, hit the scene sometime in 2007 with their debut album Slanted Eyes, Slanted Hearts and I got a chance to see the band in action at No Brand Con later that year. Hell, I even got a chance to play some Rockband with them at one point (it was around 2 or 3am that particular Sunday) during the convention. But throughout their entire history (which also includes their 2010 album Pagentry and most recent album, The Yellow Album), one thing has eluded their grasp: having their band name trademarked.
Any time they tried, it was met with a swift rejection from the U.S. Patent and Trademark office. The Slants eventually tried their hand with taking the case as far as the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, which as many know is the step directly below the Supreme Court of the United States. After presenting their case a few months ago, Simon Tam and the rest of the band this past Monday received some rather discouraging news: every person in the 3-judge panel voted against The Slants. The reason? Sadly the exact same reason the Trademark Office used, that basically it got rejected because the trademark would be “disparaging to a substantial composite of people of Asian descent”. That MIGHT hold some water if not for one simple detail: all of the band members are of Asian decent.
Simon Tam also noticed something rather peculiar with the ruling as he noted in a Status Update on his Facebook page in regards to the ruling: “The judge who seemed most supportive of our work even wrote “With their lyrics, performances, and band name, Mr.Tam and The Slants weigh in on cultural and political discussions about race and society that are within the heartland of speech protected by the First Amendment;” she wrote about the significance of our work to Asian Americans and how we should have the registration – right before she voted against it.”, something with he also noted that her vote was likely political in nature. There are those out there (and I know of a few people) that would tend to agree with the vote, citing the recent case with the Washington Redskins of the NFL.
Anybody who likens The Slants’ struggles with that of the Washington Redskins is (as cliché as it may sound) comparing Apples to Oranges in the truest sense of the phrase. The Slants (as earlier stated) are an all-Asian band. The Redskins football team consists of players and owners (who last I checked) don’t have much Native American blood in their system. The Slants’s music promotes and encourages social discussion of race relations (among other related topics)and is just damn good music to listen to. The Redskins just use a deragotory slang term and the team itself hasn’t been too terribly relevant for most of the last decade or two, even with the addition of Robert Griffin III. But not all is gloom and doom. Even as The Slants have contemlated taking the case all the way to the Supreme Court, media outlets by the dozen have picked up on the story, often in support of their cause. And to end things on a positive note, this tidbit of news was dropped by Simon Tam himself a few days ago:
“Just received a “Sua Sponte Order to Vacate” from the Federal Court of Appeals – in other words, they decided to “take back” their recent decision as if it never happened. They full panel of judges did this BEFORE we even filed an appeal (extremely rare, might be the first for this court). They want to hear arguments on why what the Trademark Office did was unconstitutional. They’re also ordering another oral argument (which I don’t think I’m going to miss). Guys, we’re making history here.”
We can only hope.
Well, my fellow geeks and geekettes across the interwebs, that brings this blogiside of GR2 Weekly to a most satisfying end. Like I earlier mentioned, next Sunday will see not a GR2 Weekly blog post, but the Convention Recap for this year’s No Brand Con, so do please look forward to that. And as I tend to enjoy mentioning every chance I get, should you have any suggestions for what I should Rant and/or Rave about (please suggest away, I promise I won’t bite), feel free to follow me both on Tumblr and WordPress. You are equally as encouraged to post much linkage on the official GR2 Weekly Facebook page and I just as strongly encourage you to like and comment on some of the links I post. I enjoy interacting with you all. See you next week! While you’re still here, though, be sure to check out and Vote Up Lemme Addams everybody. Sonny Strait will be a happy person. 😛